Yankees Draft: Biggest First Round MLB Draft Busts

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2. Yankees Draft: Cito Culver

Yankees draft
Cito Culver, legendary New York Yankees draft bust (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In retrospect, the New York Yankees draft should not have included Cito Culver.

It’s finally here! The 10th anniversary of the New York Yankees opting for a local (read: Upstate New York is not local) shortstop to fill Derek Jeter’s shoes over…Noah Syndergaard or Nick Castellanos.

This draft bust nearly stands alone because, even at the time, it was indefensible. It felt like Yankees scouts looked at themselves and went, “No. 32? Yeah, we got no shot, take the kid who’s been on Steinbrenner’s travel team.”

Whether this was a gift to the Boss in his final year in charge, we’ll never know. But Culver was seen as a solid-field, no-hit infielder when he was taken, and that assessment never really moved much. He made it all the way to Triple-A before leaving the game in 2018, and he’s still only 27, but Culver never hit above .255 in any year of his Yankees tenure.

He got to sign a few Bowman Chrome cards and pose for pictures — it could’ve been worse. But Culver was never “it” from the jump. Just an odd pick all around.